The increased interest in CS education is terrific — computing is critical to our society and our infrastructure, and there are more jobs than graduates. Understanding computing is critical for innovation in every domain. It’s a shame that it has to come as an add-on. Computer science should be part of every discussion about science or mathematics education, or STEM education generally. Creating more and better educated computer scientists (and computing literate citizenry, across professions) is as important as having more and better educated scientists and engineers (and having a science and mathematics literate citizenry).
The Computer Science Education Act, according to Polish, would help train American students for the more than 1.5 million high-paying computing jobs expected to be created in the United States by 2018. The bill, he said, aims at helping states increase and strengthen their computer science offerings. If passed, states will receive at least $250,000 in planning grants, according to Polish’ office.At the University of Colorado, school leaders are proposing a second undergraduate degree program in computer science to increase the number of students in the field, and the Boulder Valley School District has several advanced computer classes available for students. Polish’ legislation would require that states develop computer science standards and curriculum and form a commission to bring states together to address the shortage in computer science teachers.